Kraftwerk, “Tour de France—Etape 1” (Tour de France Soundtracks) The German techno pioneers explore their man-machine fetish with this ode to Le Tour that grooves like spinning spokes.
Pink Floyd, “Bike” (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) Syd Barrett–era Floyd was dementedly whimsical, and “Bike” feels like Dr. Caligari’s circus—all distorted proportions, Technicolor sounds, and wobbly horizons. Drunken bicycling, in other words.
John Fahey, “Bicycle Built for Two” (The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death) One of the corniest songs ever written becomes unexpectedly brooding thanks to Fahey’s distinctive fingerpicking style. This version could be renamed “(Alone on a) Bicycle Built for Two.”
Queen, “Bicycle Race” (Jazz) With a melody harder to forget than, um, how to ride a bike, “Bicycle Race” is Freddie Mercury at his most histrionic, as he free-associates about races, Vietnam, and Watergate.
Boards of Canada, “Happy Cycling” (Music Has the Right to Children) Like Kraftwerk, this Scottish electronic duo consider bicycling transportation’s past and future. This hypnotic, pristine track contentedly pedals toward some distant locale—a perfect soundtrack to a perfect ride.